04 February, 2013

The Sleep Issue

I'm just gonna come out and say it, and hope no one gets offended. *deep breath* Here goes.

I don't understand people who don't sleep train their babies.

Whew. There, I said it! I feel better now. ;-)

Even before I got pregnant with Charlotte, I didn't really get it. I mean, who doesn't want sleep?! I know I sure do! And once people close to me started talking about BabyWise and doing BabyWise (though it isn't the only method), I understood even less. Now? Now I don't understand at all.

Maybe it really doesn't work for everyone. I don't know. I don't know everyone's kids. Maybe some people would just rather sleep with their babies in their bed/room. I don't know! I certainly don't claim to know everything!

But I really do feel bad for people I see posting on FB about their kids' sleep...or lack thereof. Meanwhile, mine is snoozing away, has a bedtime of 7pm and gets up around 7am. Her first nap is around 9, second around 1, and the occasional third is around 4:30/5. This happens every day. It's not rocket science, and I know what to expect from her. 

Ah, look how tiny she was just a few months ago...!

I honestly feel bad for parents whose kids don't sleep through the night. Because we had a few weeks recently where Charlotte was getting up in the middle of the night...or early in the morning. And I really felt like I was going to lose my mind. She was cranky, over tired, and mostly inconsolable. Naps sucked. Everything sucked. She was clingy, yet into everything. If I took something away from her, we entered Meltdown City. If I tried to put her down for a nap? World War 3. I felt like I had lost my happy, independent, sleeping baby. 

And then, one day... She slept. And angels sang. ;-) Well, they sang in my head, anyway!

And then I felt even more terrible for my non-sleep training pseudo friends on FB. {They're pseudo, because who really talks to ALL their friends on FB? Come on, now. Be honest.} I now know what it's like! Kind of. It sucks! I want sleep! My baby is cranky without sleep! How do they do it?! Over the holidays, one of my friends told me that "every day is different" with her daughter - as far as her sleep goes. Honestly? I can't imagine! While Charlotte does wake up anywhere from 7-8am on a normal day...our schedule is still pretty much the same. Not only does her daughter not sleep through the night, but she has no idea what her day will be like?! To me, that's just nuts.

I mean, yeah. Sleep training is kinda hard. You have to really stick with it. Your "job" isn't over when they start sleeping through the night, although that is a fantastic benefit and milestone. I still have to "train" Charlotte that 3 naps is okay, that she needs to sleep a certain amount of time during the day. And sometimes...that includes crying it out because she needs sleep. And that part? It really, really sucks. I hate it just as much as the next mom. Just because I use CIO doesn't mean I like it. 

I suppose, to some degree, letting her pass out whenever she felt like it would be easier. There's less work involved, that's for sure. I just don't think I could handle it. Not knowing when the next nap will be? Not knowing when bedtime is? Not knowing how long she'll sleep at night? No, that I could not do. 

This picture still makes me laugh!!!

So. As for me and my house, we will sleep train. And we will love it. ;-)


Chantal said...

It isn't as easy as just doing it ;). I think A LOT depends on the child. Penny has never ever been a good night sleeper or napper, despite my best efforts. I've tried it all, in vain. Now we have a solid nap schedule and I'm thankful for that. She naps 10 or 10:30, and then 2:30 or 3. Every day. Thank goodness. Nighttime is a bit more tricky. She's in bed by 8, and sometimes only wakes up once or twice, sometimes more. Soon, again, I hope to work on getting her to sleep a solid 7-8 hours without needing me. Right now she's reverted back to every 3, but I think she's teething and in a growth spurt.

Anyway, easier said than done ;)

Expat Girl said...

I have never learnt about Babywise or specifically set out to sleep train my girls but it luckily just happened for me. They both sleep great at night, and even my two and half year old still naps for two hours during the day. I agree with you I read facebook statuses about how tired people are or how early their baby got up and I have NO idea how they do it.

Katy said...

I will always advocate finding some form of sleep training. But I also know from personal experience that every child is different. My oldest is a champion sleeper! She started sleeping through the night right around 2 months old and only had temporary issues when hubby deployed right after she turned 6 months old. She is now 4.5 and is only kinda phasing out afternoon naps. My middle child on the other hand didn't sleep through the night until she was over a year old despite every method of sleep training I tried. It took a lot of different attempts to get her to self soothe and even then she woke in the middle of the night. She does take a regular afternoon nap still at 3 but sleeping through the night is still a semi regular issue. My 3rd is a bit more like his oldest sister. Sleep training and self soothing have come pretty easily. However he still wakes in the wee morning hours (think 4am/5amish) while going through a growth spurt or in the midst of hardcore teething. He's 8 months old and the only child I've had that I can't seem to totally wean from these early morning feedings, however I do know that if I nurse him that early he will go right back to sleep and not get up again until 7am/8am. Be grateful that Miss Charlotte took so easily to it :) An easy first time experience made the rougher experiences a little easier in my mind.

The Graves said...

Sleeping training isn't necessary to have a schedule and routine with naps/bedtime.

Jen said...

I think maybe people get hung up on the terms "sleep training." I know some moms are like, "I train my dog, I raise my kid." I never thought that I sleep trained my son, rather I just put him on a schedule which is essentially the same thing.

I also give you tons of kudos for sticking Charlotte in her room from birth because getting up every 2-3 hours at the beginning must have been so hard! I'm getting ready to transition my daughter into her room now that she's sleeping about 6 hours at night. So I guess I'm getting ready to "train" her to sleep in her room, I just never thought to use those words. *shrug*

I also never heard of Babywise but the way I raised my son, and now my daughter is pretty much how the book goes. I guess I'm a natural babywiser. ;)

Kodi said...

My boys are both great sleepers and always have been. I was pretty proud of myself with my first, but with my second I realized a lot of it is luck. I did everything the same both times with different results. It's also about instincts. My oldest was allowed to CIO in the middle of the night and he did, but never more than a few minutes before he was asleep again. My second was a very big baby and I always fed him once in the night until 13 months because I honestly knew he was hungry. Anyway, it's easy with one to think it's black and white, but that's not always true. I have a good friend who tried and tried to sleep train using baby wise and as toddlers they still don't sleep all night.

Kate @ Daffodils said...

A few other ladies said this up top, but it is funny how each kid is different. We did the same thing with both our boys, but had very different experiences. However, we do keep a very regular schedule and as they have gotten older, they know when bedtime in depending on what we are doing. (Of course we are going through my almost 4 year old's phantom sleeper phase where he sneaks into our bed in the middle of the night. Still trying to get him to wander back to his own room!)